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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/1/13

America's Police State Marches On, While Russia Grants Snowden Political Asylum

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(Article changed on August 1, 2013 at 08:45)

(Article changed on August 1, 2013 at 08:44)

(Article changed on August 1, 2013 at 08:32)

By Dave Lindorff

Three challengers to fascism: Manning, Swarz and Snowden (
Three challengers to fascism: Manning, Swarz and Snowden (
(Image by ThisCantBeHappening!))
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BREAKING!:  It could well be that the harsh pretrial treatment of Bradley Manning and the harsh verdict handed down against him Tuesday may have been what convinced Russian authorities of the validity of National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden's appeal for asylum, which his Russian attorney and his father have both now announced has been granted this morning. (Snowden in his application asserted that he cannot hope to receive a fair trial in the US, where Washington leaders have been publicly calling him a traitor and have been clamoring for harsh punishment, and where even the president has condemned him as a "hacker," instead of a whistleblower who exposed the nation's ubiquitous spying on all electronic communications of all Americans in wholesale violation of the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution). Snowden has reportedly left the Moscow airport where he had been stranded by US revocation of his passport, and has entered Moscow as a political refugee from US state terror. 
 

The New York Times, in an editorial published the day after a military judge found Pvt. Bradley Manning "not guilty" of "aiding the enemy" -- a charge that would have locked him up for life without possibility of parole and could have carried the death penalty -- but also found him guilty on multiple counts of "espionage," called the verdict -- not guilty of aiding the enemy, guilty of espionage -- "Mixed."

The Times editorial writers were as mixed up as the judge, though.

 The lead article got it right with the headline: "Manning Found Not Guilty of Aiding the Enemy," and with the subhead: "Leaker Convicted of Most Other Charges."  Clearly, Manning was not the traitor that many charlatans in Congress and the media called him, but was rather a leaker who was trying to inform the public about crimes, misdeed and wrongdoing in the US military's conduct of the war in Iraq, US diplomacy and US handling of prisoners in Guantanamo and elsewhere.


But an accompanying sidebar article didn't fare so well at the editors' hands.  On the front page, the headline read: "Loner Sought a Refuge, and Chose the Army," with the subhead reading: "After an Anguished Youth, Accused of Being a Traitor."  Bad enough to focus on the "traitor" angle, which has been clearly shown to have been the over-wrought fantasy of cowardly politicians and pundits who wrap themselves in the flag. But totally off base was the headline over the jump for that story, on page 13, which read: "Loner Who Sought a Refuge, Chose the Army, and Betrayed His Country."


Huh?


Manning, who admits he broke the law in downloading secret military and diplomatic documents like the notorious gunsight video of an Apache helicopter mowing down civilians in Iraq, including children and laughing as they slaughtered the people below them with machine-gun fire, or the embarrassing embassy cables mocking foreign leaders. But he made clear in testimony at the trial that he was never intending to hurt his country -- only to let the public know about the vile and often criminal activities being perpetrated by the government in their name.

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 

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